GDB 32.0: FOND MEMORIES

Jason Gregor
December 10 2013 01:03PM

The Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes don't have much history, except for that outstanding seven-game series in the 2006 Cup finals. The ending wasn't great for the Oilers and their fans, but the 24 games between April 21st and June 19th created some outstanding memories.

I'm guessing most Oiler remember where they were when Pisani scored shorthanded, in overtime no less, to send the series back to Edmonton for games six. Game six was the best atmosphere in an NHL arena that I've ever experienced. It was Saturday night, 6 p.m. start, but the building was packed by 4:30. The emotion and excitement inside Rexall Place was intense, heart pounding and euphoric, all before the game even started.

One of the coolest parts was when the fans showed great respect by singing the Star Spangled Banner prior to belting out Oh Canada. 

Or how about the goal at 4:00 of this video...I'd say it is the nicest goal of  Ryan Smyth's career, and it came in game six of the Stanley Cup finals. 

It was a magical run. Shirts off for Horcoff was an actual thing. The Human Rake was a beast on the blueline. Fernando Pisani was a local here in Edmonton, especially in Little Italy. The Oilers had an outstanding combination of skill, experience, toughness, size, grit and a strong desire to win.

The Rake should have won the Conn Smyth despite losing. He did everything, including scoring on a penalty shot in game one of the Finals.

The forward group had skill in Horcoff, Hemsky, Samsonov, Pisani and Smyth. Grit and toughness with Peca, Torres, Stoll, Moreau and a 4th line that found ways to contribute with Murray, Winchester, Laraque, Dvorak, and Harvey.

Behind the Rake, he played 31 freaking minutes a game, Spacek played the best hockey of his career, while Smith and Staios were all heart and determination, and made the opposition battle for every inch on the ice. The 3rd pair was a mixture of Greene, a big, strong, young D-man who played 10 minutes a game, and Tarnstrom and Bergeron who played 13 minutes a night, mainly ES with 2 min of PP time.

Roloson was a journeyman goalie, who battled on every shot, and Jussi Markanen played very well considering the situation he inherited between games 2-7 of the Cup Final.

Overall, it was an epic journey, and even though the Oilers lost, I'd bet that for most of you reading this, it was the best time of their hockey fan life. Some of you are lucky enough to have been around for the five Cup runs, but the 2006 run was so unexpected that many fans have told me it was the best two months they'd ever experienced, despite the gut-wrenching game seven defeat.

Of course the ending sucked, but that shouldn't overshadow how fun and exciting the previous two months were. That loss likely toughened you up enough that you've been able to sit through eight subsequent seasons of losing.

As you get set for a game 32 of an already frustrating season, take a moment to remember who freakin awesome the '06 run was. For fun, do a quick comparison of those teams, and you will see how many changes the current Oilers need to made  if they ever want to reach the Stanley Cup Finals again.

LINEUP

Perron-RNH-Eberle
Hall-Gagner-Yakupov
Joensuu-Arcobello-Hemsky
Gazdic/Smyth-Lander-Jones

Craig MacTavish was the coach in 2006 and saw first hand the type of 12 forwards you need in order to win. This group's natural maturation will help, but it is clear he'll need to change over at least half of the aforementioned group before this team can win regularly.

Ference-Larsen
N.Schultz-J.Schultz
Belov/Marincin-Potter

We all know MacT's biggest test will be re-shaping the blueline over the next few years. Marincin has looked decent, and I think he is on a solid developmental curve at this point. How far he can improve from here will determine if he can become a solid NHLer, or just a fringe D-man.

Dubnyk 

TUESDAY TIDBITS

  • Chris Kunitz had 25 and 21 goal seasons in Anaheim, (60 and 50 points) before being traded to the Penguins. In his first three seasons in Pittsburgh he scored 50-13-19-32, 66-23-25-48 and 82-26-35-61. If you combine last season and the first 32 games this year, Kunitz has tallied 80-39-44-83 and that is why he is in the mix for team Canada.

    His best 80 game stretch has come at the best possible time for him to be considered for the Olympic team. Playing with Crosby helps, for sure, but over the past 80 games only Ovechkin (54), Stamkos (43), Tavares (40) and P. Kane (39) have scored as much as Kunitz.

    I understand why he is in the conversation for the Olympic team, but he wouldn't be my first choice. Seventeen of his 39 goals have come on the PP, only Ovechkin has more 25, and if he does make team Canada, is he going to be on the first PP unit? I doubt it. That is a factor.

    Kunitz and Crosby have chemistry and Kunitz;' 83 points are 6th most over the past calendar year. He is producing, and often a player who is playing the best right now will make it over someone who played great two years ago. Kunitz deserves to be in the conversation, but he is a bubble guy at best.
     
  • Speaking of Crosby, he only plays :38/game on the PK, while Malkin, Kunitz and Neal don't play PK. Craig Adams, Brandon Sutter and Pascal Dupuis are the three main guys, while Tanner Glass is 4th at 1:14/game. The Penguins don't take many penalties; they've been on the PK for only 151 minutes this year, 7th best in the NHL.
     
  • The Oilers have been on the PK for 181 minutes, 23rd most in the NHL, but they've had 192 minutes of PP time, 2nd most in the NHL. The Oilers spend more time on special teams than every other team in the league. They have played 373:33, about an average of 12:04/game. The PP and PK are 13th and 15th respectively, and the only way the Oilers can win is if their PP sits top-five, because their 5-on-5 play is horrible.
     
  • The Oilers have given up 72 goals 5-on-5, but they've only scored 47. The organization needs to stop focusing so much on the PP, stop believing that the PP is the engine that drives the team, and realize that until they improve at ES they won't win. It is painfully obvious.
     
  • The Oilers have scored 22 PP goals, and allowed 19 PK. Their special teams basically cancel each other out.
     
  •  Richard Bachman was re-assigned to OKC today. Jason LaBarbera will be sent down once Bryzgalov has another practice or two. Jeff Petry practiced, but won't play. He is day-to-day.

TONIGHT....

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The ghosts of game-six past will appear and help the Oilers win 4-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Hurricanes are 0-3 when the second game of a back-to-back is on the road. The Canes have outshot teams in the first game of those sets, but they've been outshot 78-104 in the 2nd games. Oilers will outshoot the Canes 33-24.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Riley Nash, Oilers first round pick, 21st overall, in 2007 will be booed every time he touches the puck. If Ladislav Smid can be booed, there is no reason that a former draft pick you refused to sign in Edmonton can't. When you don't have much to cheer for, the fans need to find something that will entertain them throughout the game. Riley wears #20, in case you were wondering.

DAY EIGHT...MONTH OF GIVING...

Thank you to the Edmonton Rush for donating their VIP package yesterday and to Robert for bidding on it. Through seven days we have raised $22,450 for charities.

Today's package is unique. There are two items up for grabs, and the winning bid can choose which one they want.

Supply and install one High Efficiency Furnace or a 13 Seer Air Conditioning System courtesy of
G & H Heating and Cooling Solutions.

This is what you get with the furnace:

  • One high efficiency furnace
  • All venting
  • All electrical connections
  • All drains
  • All sheet metal modifications to maximize performance of new equipment.
  • City permit and City inspection fees
  • Removal of old furnace

This is what you get with the Air Conditioning System:

  • One 13 Seer Central Air Conditioning System
  • All electrical connections with outdoor safety disconnect
  • Anti-vibration pad
  • One heat/cool thermostat
  • City permit and inspection fees

You will receive a site visit from one of their comfort advisors before installation to take measurements and determine proper size of Air Conditioning system/Furnace for the home and where it will be installed.

To bid you can call 780.444.1260 between 2-6 p.m. today. Thanks in advance for your bid. All proceeds will go to Operation Friendship Seniors Society.

 

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#51 Arius Mumin
December 10 2013, 08:36PM
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James wrote:

Just a question guy, no need to throw out insults.

hahahahahahahahahaha

if you can get worked up so quick: why can't I?

I was just adding some humour to the comments, no need to get your panties in a knot.;-')

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#52 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:10PM
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Arco and Jonesuu attacking the net even with the good lead. Everyone else take note...

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#53 Stack Pad Save
December 10 2013, 10:25PM
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Replay of the game, STACK PAD SAVE by Doobie

Doobie Doobie Doobie

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#54 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 11:21PM
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TDSM31 wrote:

He is being Sam Gagner.

You know in interviews Gagner seems intelligent.He has a doctor for a fiance. Yet after 7 years in the NHL he still makes bone-head plays like that. Not sure why he does not "get" defensive hockey.

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#55 Walter Sobchak
December 10 2013, 03:37PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

"He is producing, and often a player who is playing the best right now will make it over someone who played great two years ago"

This is undoubtedly part of the logic used in picking these teams, but it is really poor decision making.

"Riding the hot hand" is more of a crutch than a linchpin in a small sample size. It is simply unreliable, esp. as a forecaster of the future. How often is today's "hot hand" tomorrow's "cold"?

Pretty much every single time.

"The Oilers have given up 72 goals 5-on-5, but they've only scored 47. The organization needs to stop focusing so much on the PP, stop believing that the PP is the engine that drives the team, and realize that until they improve at ES they won't win. It is painfully obvious. "

While I completely agree that ES results should be the motor every team wants driving their outcomes… I'm not convinced this isn't a straw man.

I've certainly heard Eakins, after a particularly bad game of special teams, say he wants to focus on the PP/PK and hold a practice to that end… more than once even.

But I don't see any evidence that the organization believes the PP is the engine that drives the team. That certainly doesn't seem to be reflected in Eakins/MacT's philosophy or public statements.

Really? So a coach publicly proclaiming that a special 5 X 4 unit of an all forward power play unit didn’t reflect a coaching philosophy?

You are the most pedantic person I have ever read! Good god you’re boring!!

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#56 Walter Sobchak
December 10 2013, 03:44PM
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Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

I'm actually not sure you know what you are talking about here.

Your someone who's too concerned with literal accuracy or formality.

It's a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.

"You don't want to go antique-shopping with a pedantic friend, who will use the opportunity to bore you with his in-depth knowledge of Chinese porcelain kitty-litter boxes".

This my friend is you! Now F..K off.

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#57 Alsker
December 10 2013, 07:54PM
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James wrote:

How the hell does Yak get an assist there? Clearly it was passed to Hall by Gagner.

Yak started the play outside the blueline checking the 'cane player and sending gags and Hall in.

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#58 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 08:17PM
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I can't tell if the Oil are playing well or if the Hurricanes are just playing that bad. Not even trying to be funny here.

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#59 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 08:38PM
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Great forecheck from Arco, like the spin.

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#60 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 10 2013, 08:40PM
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Please can Joensuu stay healthy and play every night like he has tonight?

I almost forgot what it was like to see an Oiler forward that was bigger than an opponent's D-men...

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#61 Arius Mumin
December 10 2013, 08:44PM
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Jackson wrote:

You want humour watch this

http://vimeo.com/70478549

I'll assume it is a video of S.Gagner backchecking.?

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#62 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:03PM
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@bazmagoo

Careful dude, the Gagner fans(both of them) are trashing every negative comment.

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#63 steelymac
December 10 2013, 09:43PM
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No time to read but this mono-tone commentater is brutal onsportsnetwest .

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#64 Alsker
December 10 2013, 09:53PM
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Can we please stop making that pass to the middle of the blue line to no body...Ebs,Gags,Hall,Hemmer, they are all doing it. Maybe that's why we have no shots from the point, the passes are for the opposition rather than for our D men.

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#65 Johnnydapunk
December 10 2013, 10:00PM
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steelymac wrote:

No time to read but this mono-tone commentater is brutal onsportsnetwest .

I was thinking something was weird too about his commentary. They alluded to him having the flu and not much of a voice so that why he sounds all monotone and dead inside. I first assumed he just got to the point of giving up on the Oil (which wouldn't have been much of a shocker)

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#66 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 10:00PM
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And there it is. Nighty night, fellas.

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#67 WTF
December 10 2013, 10:06PM
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Inex-freaking-scusable. Thanks for showing up Ebs. I'd trade your ass in a Fox Vegas minute!

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#68 Mo Playoffs Mo Problems
December 10 2013, 10:09PM
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What happened to the team from the 1st period? I liked that team. The team from the 3rd looked pretty familiar though...

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#69 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:13PM
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Finally. They won. They deserve to be bag skated but they won.

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#70 I tried it at home
December 10 2013, 10:21PM
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First star... T. Hall Second star... the refereees who G. Bettman obviously told "ok f*k it. Give it to tje Oilers" Third star... who cared. Ill take it.

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#71 madjam
December 10 2013, 10:23PM
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I wonder how good we might be if we had a decent physical defence ? They sure look bad/brutal defensively .

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#72 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 11:19PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Ralph Krueger said it last year, Eakins said it this year. Taylor Hall said it during the first intermission of the Colorado game.

Is that enough evidence enough for you? Just because you didn't read it,doesn't mean it didn't happen. You should try reading and listening rather than always assuming.

It has been said on record many times that the players and coaches feel the PP is the engine of their team. It isn't, and the fact they say it, shows it is an internal belief, and what that needs to change. They have to improve at ES.

Thanks for the response.

But, it's not really answering my comment.

Asking someone to clarify a statement that doesn't fit readily available evidence is the definition of "reading and listening rather than always assuming."

A credulous person is one that simply accepts statements as true.

I've heard all these people you mention say the PP is important to the team. I also recall them all saying things about the importance of even strength and about needing to be better at it.

However, I honestly don't recall them saying anything like the PP is the engine of the team (or some variation of that).

If they've said it, I missed it, which is completely plausible and also why I asked about it… which seems like a pretty straightforward thing to do.

That said, I still don't see anything to suggest the organization believes this, however, I'm completely open to having that case made.

And, as I said before, it is certainly the case that they need to be a lot better at 5x5, that that should be a priority and that their special teams need a lot of work… i.e., they are crappy team.

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#73 G bear
December 10 2013, 01:26PM
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David S wrote:

Ference-Larsen

N.Schultz-J.Schultz

Marincin-Potter

*Barfs*

Four fairies,one over the hill club member (N.Schultz) and one leader and winner - real hockey player (Ference)! Where is Deryk Engelland, Weber, Coburn, Phaneuf, Nikitin, Kulikov, etc.

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#74 Oilcruzer
December 10 2013, 01:56PM
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Sailge wrote:

That Game 6 of the Finals is also be the last time any of us would be fortunate enough to have Mr. Paul Lorieau sing the anthems.

That's too bad.

Our next home playoff game won't be the same without you, Paul.

Paul sang the following year.

Was at game 6 and also Game 7. I have nothing but praise for 44 and his effort.

He would make a great coach., or the next Don Cherry.

The Oil have transitioned over the last 10 games from bottom feeders to average. Still too many uncovered trailers gliding between the dots.

The better goaltender for this game will win. (Really out on a limb with that statement ).

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#75 Anthony
December 10 2013, 02:59PM
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I got to say the '06 playoff run has to be the most memorable experience in my life time as a hockey fan and proud Edmontonian. I grew up in Montreal I was 5 years old during the '86 finals didn't realize what it meant. I saw the '93 habs miracle run and I can tell you it was magical... but there was still something special about that '06 Oilers team. All the pundits wrote them off during the Detroit series boy did they 'stick it' them. And man who can forget Raffi Torres hitting Milan Michalek!! That hit changed the series around...I still choke up watching game 7. I wish the current Oilers would play at that level just bring it every night... maybe I'll be fortunate enough to watch another final someday

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#76 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 03:41PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Really? So a coach publicly proclaiming that a special 5 X 4 unit of an all forward power play unit didn’t reflect a coaching philosophy?

You are the most pedantic person I have ever read! Good god you’re boring!!

I'm actually not sure you know what you are talking about here.

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#77 Rama Lama
December 10 2013, 03:42PM
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David S wrote:

Thanks for this totally fresh, never mentioned before perspective!

You my friend are most welcome..........Merry Christmas!

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#78 pkam
December 10 2013, 04:15PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

How could it happen the other way around, unless you actually thought they were a Cup contender before the playoffs started.

The win over Detroit started it, and then it grew with wins over San Jose and Anaheim...If those don't happen, you don't feel the excitement of the Finals or the gut wrenching defeat...

To be honest, I thought we were going to be swept by Detroit before the playoff started.

Never did I think we could get to the 2nd round.

And even after we beat Detroit, I still didn't believe we can beat the Sharks and that trio.

It was after the 2nd series I started to believe we really had a chance, I thought if we could beat the Wings and the Sharks, we could beat any team.

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#79 Rob Grieve
December 10 2013, 06:11PM
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I remember the cup run of '06 I was 16 years old and I was on a band trip to California when we played Detroit We got on the bus to return to the hotel one night and the band director picked up the mic for the bus's intercom to say "The Oilers have defeated the Detroit Red Wings tonight and are going on to the second round" Everyone on the bus was losing it but none of us figured we would get to the finals I have many other memories of that run... most of them of Pisani being a badass watching these videos reminded me of home and why I am from the best place in the entire world despite not living there anymore Thank you for reminding me why I am still a fan of this hockey club despite all they put me through

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#80 James
December 10 2013, 08:14PM
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Way to go Nuge! Let's see some more of that boys.

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#81 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 10:01PM
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@Andrew

He burned his TO on a first period icing if I recall.

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#82 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:03PM
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Since the game is likely in the crapper... anyone else think that Eakins looks like Charlie Sheen's long lost brother?

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#83 Alsker
December 10 2013, 10:04PM
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Hauk15 wrote:

Oilers deserve to lose.

Not sure if the deserve to lose but sure as h3ll don't deserve to win.

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#84 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 10:06PM
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Was it Belov standing there when Potter got his head smashed in? Why didn't he at least grab Nash and put some fear of God into him? I'm not saying beat the kid to a pulp, but I'd settle for a face wash. Or a sneaky cross-check. Or ANYTHING. I know it's Corey Potter of all people, but the man is still wearing orange and blue.

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#85 Alsker
December 10 2013, 10:08PM
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Nuuuge takes a couple big hits in ozone to make the play and snowpants flops on his ass to avoid contact and lose possesion....why is he here?

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#86 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:10PM
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Don't give us a PP!!!! They score on us when we are on the PP!!!

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#87 Hauk15
December 10 2013, 10:11PM
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nobodys gonna beat that guys ass? Arcobello leads the forwards in hits. SOFTER than baby poop

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#88 vetinari
December 10 2013, 10:21PM
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Bruins are going on be tough. Really, really tough. Even short a few guys.

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#89 Rocket
December 10 2013, 11:29PM
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pkam wrote:

Everything looks great in 1st period, including the defense. The problem is everyone stops skating after we scored the 4th goal and lead 4-1.

Looks like we are the tired team who played last night. Everyone just wants to finish their shift and goes back to the bench and watches.

LOL Katz! I'm not like a grammer Nazi or anything but your present/past tense thing is really messing me up.

Also, I agree with you about the team not being able to protect a lead.

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#90 Arius Mumin
December 11 2013, 12:16AM
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Spydyr wrote:

You know in interviews Gagner seems intelligent.He has a doctor for a fiance. Yet after 7 years in the NHL he still makes bone-head plays like that. Not sure why he does not "get" defensive hockey.

Key word in your comment:"seems".

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#91 Kevin Low
December 10 2013, 01:37PM
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G bear wrote:

Four fairies,one over the hill club member (N.Schultz) and one leader and winner - real hockey player (Ference)! Where is Deryk Engelland, Weber, Coburn, Phaneuf, Nikitin, Kulikov, etc.

Hey G bear are you still foxy boxing. You are t-u-f-f! lmao!

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#92 Smokey
December 10 2013, 01:49PM
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BIngBong wrote:

Speaking of d-men, Weber and Suter aren't putting up particulary great numbers this year. Weber has 13 points and is a -7. Suter has 0 goals in 32 games and is even. I know these guys are 2 of the best, but I figured their numbers would be much better than that.

Still early, but Minny is winning so I am sure they don't care. And Nashville is competitive and are always in the mix.

Take either guy outta their line-up and those teams really suck.

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#93 Oilers Coffey
December 10 2013, 03:45PM
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@geoilersgist

Living in Lethbridge was pretty cool too, the bars were always packed with the Southern Alberta die hard Oilers fans! I was just finished the last of my university degree. It was celebration city! I do remember and have been a part of all five cups!

Forever an Oilers fan!!!

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#94 Spydyr
December 10 2013, 03:55PM
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Oilers Coffey wrote:

Living in Lethbridge was pretty cool too, the bars were always packed with the Southern Alberta die hard Oilers fans! I was just finished the last of my university degree. It was celebration city! I do remember and have been a part of all five cups!

Forever an Oilers fan!!!

For me the first Cup will always be the best one.It was the first that alone makes it special.

Everyone was so happy on Jasper Avenue.It was so spontaneous the Cops did not expect anything like that.Not that the Cops were needed, there was absolutely no sign of trouble.

What a night!

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#95 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 03:55PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Your someone who's too concerned with literal accuracy or formality.

It's a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.

"You don't want to go antique-shopping with a pedantic friend, who will use the opportunity to bore you with his in-depth knowledge of Chinese porcelain kitty-litter boxes".

This my friend is you! Now F..K off.

Ha!

Thanks. If only our problem was that I didn't know what a pedant was!

I think our problem is more along the lines of you confusing having strategies for special teams (something every coach at every level ever has/had) with "the organization… believing that the PP is the engine that drives the team."

These are simply different things, radically so.

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#96 Romulus' Apotheosis
December 10 2013, 04:45PM
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pkam wrote:

I was mislead with Omark, Smid and Yak. It is unlikely for that Weber with this package.

I think that was his point… i.e., let's all enjoy some wild speculation surrounding an old hobby horse to kill time/have fun…

The Omark/Smid inclusions are a bit of a giveaway here.

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#97 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
December 10 2013, 07:38PM
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@Alsker

I'll blame Bettman. I mean, why not right?

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#98 I tried it at home
December 10 2013, 08:06PM
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My first night back from camp, and Im watching the game at the west end Kilt. Big diff from'06? Im the ONLY jersey in the pub. Anyway, great shot by Yakcity, now lets see some secondary support from a few guys whovhad better be worried about their jobs.

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#99 James
December 10 2013, 08:33PM
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@Arius Mumin

Just a question guy, no need to throw out insults.

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#100 James
December 10 2013, 08:45PM
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@Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

Yeah I like his play so far tonight. Back injuries are the sh*ts.

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